what’s in my bag? semester abroad

Hello there. I know, this isn’t one of my usual blog posts, but to be honest I love reading blog posts or watching videos of what they have in their bags. There’s something very personal about a someones bag, and I wanted to share what I keep with me during my time as a student abroad.

The bag itself is a black tote from Old Navy. It was given to me by a close friend who had studied abroad over the summer, and this was the bag she has used as well. It has one main section, with one exterior and one interior smaller pocket. It is large enough for me to cart around a vast variety of things for either by day to day life or larger adventures. This bag has been with me every day so far, and has served so many purposes. It can be an overnight bag, a grocery bag, a backpack, and so many other things.

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetThe small outside pocket is where I store items I need to access quickly. I always have my two cell phones with me, my iPhone that I use regularly but do not have service on and my Samsung basic phone that can make calls in case of an emergency. I primarily use my iPhone whenever I have wifi, which is why I keep it in this pocket. I also have a lip balm and mints for after a meal in here. I keep this pen close to my person at all times. My lovely boyfriend has a wood shop and taught me how to make this pen all on my own. I am quite proud of it, and it reminds me of him. Finally, we have my keys. The traditional keyring is for access to my apartment, and the key card is for access to campus.

The main section insides contents are constantly changing, but there are several staple pieces. It is no question that Italy is beautiful,  which is why I keep my Sony a6000 camera with me always. There could be a picture perfect moment anywhere, and this camera allows me to be ready for them. I owe so much to my white marble Swell water bottle. Water in Europe is not free in restaurants the way it is in the states, but there are many public drinking fountains. This bottle keeps liquids cold for 24 hours or hot for 12, making it my perfect companion. I have my adorable new glasses case for both my regular glasses and prescription sunglasses.

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetThe pink bag with the bicycle print I have named my ‘gadgets bag’. It contains all things electronic that I might need, including: camera needs (battery charger, backup battery, SD cards), emergency Italian cell phone, powerbank charger for phone/camera, and several wall chargers as well. My wallet is from Fossil, and actually has a lining in it that prevents credit card information from being stolen. I figured that that feature was a necessity being in a large tourist filled city, with pickpockets galore. I also use the wallet as a clutch on nights that I don’t need the full bag. The small yellow pouch is for all the small cosmetic things I might need in a pinch, including: a mirror and comb, bobby pins, safety pins, hair ties, perfume, medication, hand sanitizer, lotion, a nail care kit, and peppermint essential oil. Finally, a travel sized umbrella that my dad purchased for me before my departure. It is currently the rainy season in Italy, and this umbrella has saved me on several occasions.

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetThe interior pocket contains the things that I rarely need, but need to have. As a student staying in the country for more than 90 days, I am required to have a stay permit and have it on my person at all times. Also, I am required to have a valid passport. I’m not comfortable with carrying my passport with me all the time, but I do keep this copy with me. I also have bandaids, as Florence cobblestones can be cruel, and emergency toothbrushes for those overnight trains or long hours in the airport.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

These items are the ‘optional extras’. They are not always in my bag, but are frequently enough to mention. One of the most frequent is actually the tan jacket I am wearing in the top picture, if it isn’t on my person then it is always close by. My notebooks and pencil pouch are in my bag for the times that it is used as a backpack, which is on a daily basis during the week. My adorable stripped planner keeps me sane while planning activities and keeping track of deadlines. My actual passport is present when I am traveling and a copy is not good enough. And a good book is always a necessity in my eyes, you never know when you’ll find a perfect moment to sit down and enjoy the Italian air.

Whether you are a student going abroad soon and looking for guidance or simply just curious, I hope you liked a little peak into my day to day life.

xoxox julia


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